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Haven House in Allentown to relocate


Haven House has been told that with the closing of Allentown State Hospital, they will need to relocate.  They are asking the powers that be to assure that they have adequate time to do so and have asked for help from the general public.  The above link wll give you more information about their situation.

Renewing and old interest

Back in 2001 I bought a metal detector, which I used maybe 4 or 5 times tops right off the back and then it found it’s way into my closet.  I recently dug my metal detector out of the closet mainly because of an event being held in my area, it was described as being “day camp for adults”.   get you minds out of the gutter, it’s good clean fun with various things to try out, some I picked include, geocaching, kayaking, archery, metal detecting and a few others.  It boiled down to 4 first choices and 4 alternate choices.  I got to thinking that since I selected metal detecting as one of my choices, maybe I could take my own detector and get some pointers on using it.  At any rate my detector is out of the closet, and I found myself thinking about places I might be able to use it.  Home is out of the question, but I thought maybe the local park might be worth trying.  First thing I had to do was figure out what kind of batteries it needed which I discovered it took 2- 9 volt batteries.  I was relieved that it didn’t require “C” size batteries since those are tough to find, but since it was the little rectangle shaped 9 volt batteries I knew it wasn’t going to be tough to find them.  I got the batteries popped them into the detector and pressed the “On” button the display lit up I heard some beeps and then it settled down, I was in business.  I had good batteries in a seemingly working detector …. good start to say the least.

Well, I had other things to do, so I set the detector next to the front door where I walked past it every time I took my dog out so she could go potty.  Afetr a couple days I thought ok I have ideas of where to use it, maybe it would be good to play around with it and see what I find.  So I ended up going out on a rather cool windy day, it had rained the night before so the ground was soft which made digging easy.  Within about an hour or so, I had found $0.56 some pop tabs, a handfull of candy/gum wrappers, and a fork.  I think it was a bit of beginner’s luck, but I had a blast.  Yeah it was boring at times when the detector I was swinging back and forth was silent, but then it would come to life and beep as I homed in on something.  My detector gives a hint as to what I’m looking for, but there is still an element of surprise since I don’t know if the coin my detector sensed is a penny or a quarter or something entirely different.  So I guess you could say that there is a bit of a thrill of the hunt involved in this.  I’m really enjoying it overall, I can take my dog so we can spend time playing in the park.

So how does this relate to this blog, well I guess it’s one of those things that I found I had an interest in that by renewing it, not only do I get to do something fun, but it is something that gets me out of the house, depending on the weather I might get to enjoy the sunshine, and being as my weight is an issue, it is an activity that gets me moving around which is always a good thing when trying to lose some pounds.  I just have a low end detector, but it’s one of those things I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not when I bought it so I didn’t want to spend a lot for it.  I think in the last 3 times I’ve been out, I probably found just over $1 in spare change, and I have a warm fuzzy feeling because I found a couple really sharp scraps of metal in a sandbox that kids play in that I was able to remove and make things a little safer for the kids.  I also decided to keep the pop tabs I find and once I get a bunch of them, I’m going to take them to McDonalds and turn them in for them to use to help fund the Ronald McDonald House.   I guess you could say that this is a hobby that while it is boring at times, it does have potential to help not only myself, but others as well.

An estimate of what I paid for equipment to do this ….

Detector was between $80 and $100

hand trowel cost between $1 and $3

Carabeaner type key clips x2 $2 to $4

Plastic grocery bag  – Free?

The way I carry my stuff is that I use on clip through the handle of the trowel so I can clip it to my belt loop or backpack.  The second clip is used the same as the first but for carrying my plastic bag. The bag is used to carry the items I find in until I get home and can clean them up to check them out closer.

I would like to get a detector that has a headphonejack because my current one has a speaker with no volume control which means it has one setting in terms of loudness and that is something that I think if I wasn’t the one swinging the detector, I would probably be annoyed by the sounds.   So I try to pick times when the park is quieter to go use my detector, and if it starts getting more populated I usually head home.

In general though I find my mood has been better and I’m sleeping better as well since I started playing with my detector.  So it’s one of my nerdy hobbies, but it does offer some mental health benefits which is why I opted to share it with folks here.  It’s a hobby that can be done by just about anyone ant any age, and for folks like me who aren’t big on crowds, it’s a great way to get out of the house without having to go into crowded places.  Once in awhile someone will ask me what I’m doing and when I tell them I’m just seeing what kinds of metal objects I can find they generally shrug and walk away.  If I happen to have found something I’ll show them what I have found just so they know I’m really doing something.  So there is a bit of socialization involved, but for the most part it’s an solo kind of hobby.

Will I get rich doing this?  Doubtful, but I think the benefits of walking around outside for a couple hours or more will pay off in it’s own way even if it isn’t in gold and silver.  🙂

Comment found in the Morning Call



State should not close Allentown hospital

May 12, 2010

They should not close Allentown State Hospital. There was a great improvement and treatment at this hospital. These patients did not rob, steal or break into homes. They need this hospital here. What future do they have when the state is closing hospitals? They need these hospitals for our patients and veterans.

— Helen Reszek, Bethlehem Township

Copyright © 2010, The Morning Call

“Department of Public Welfare Discriminates Against Deaf Pennsylvanians with Intellectual Disabilities”


This article talks about aq case that was recently filed to help folks who are Deaf and developmentally disabled gain access to basic means of communicating with caretakers.  Many are unable to communicate because there is a lack of caretakers who understand American Sign Language in Pennsylvania.  This creates a situation where folks who rely on signing for example to communicate in a position where they have no way of communicating in some cases.

It’s an interesting case and I admit it isn’t specifically about mental health issues, but I think that being unable to communicate with the world around you probably doesn’t help keep your mental health in check and it could easily deteriorrate so it is one of those things that is more of an indirect mental health issue with regards to this blog.  I do feel it’s important though, and touches a tender spot in my heart because I’ve met a couple folks over the years who are deaf and developmentally disabled one of my most favorite people in the world is a gentleman who is non-verbal and is also developmentally disabled.  His sign language is weak, but he is able to communicate enough to where I can have a basic conversation with him, his favorite topics being trucks, plowing snow and his dog that lives with his Mom who he gets to visit.  This gentleman is fortunate to have folks in his life who do their best to learn his method of communicating, but he still gets really frustrated at times and I’m sure it’s because he’s trying to tell the world around him something and we just aren’t getting the message.  In some ways this gentleman is like a brother to me, and will always hold a place in my heart.  When he retired from the sheltered workshop we both worked at I got him a set of trucks as a gift, I know that for an adult to be given a set of matchbox type trucks as a retirement gift might sound strange or even demeaning, but to him those trucks were the highlight of his day when I handed them to him.  I see him once in awhile in the community always accompanied by a staff person or family member, and he usually will give me a great big bear hug to greet me.  Anytime he has a new staff member with him I have to explain that it’s ok and how I know him then they are fine with it once they realize he’s not off on some hugging spree and that it’s a genuine greeting.   I could see him getting very angry and possibly violent if it weren’t for the folks he has in his life who help translate his signs for him. So it is because of this gentleman and others I have met but don’t know that well that I am openly supporting the filing of this case.

Fixed and rearranged updated

Rearranged …

  • National and Pennsylvania organizations have been listed as sub-pages under “Organizations”
  • “State hospital Closure Links” and “State Hospital History” have been listed as sub-pages under “State Hospital Information”

Fixed …  comments are now working again throughout this blog, though as before they are moderated.

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